Thursday, December 2, 2010
Guinea High Court declares Presidential Winner
The small African nation of Guinea took another step towards democratic rule when its Guinea's Supreme Court confirmed opposition leader Alpha Conde as the winner of last month's presidential run-off election. According to the BBC, the court said Mr Conde, leader of the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG), had won with 52.52% of the vote.
Alpha Conde declared President
Former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) and veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde of the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG), came first and second respectively from a pack of 24 contestants in the first round. Diallo declared election fraud, but the court found otherwise
A successful conclusion to the election, with the ascension to power by Alpha Conde would mark the end of 52 years of authoritarian rule. However, it is not yet clear that the country's tensions between parties and groupings will subside, as the elections themselves were marred by violence and delays.
Northern rural Guineans were displaced from their homes due to election violence, but polling stations were set up for their participation.
The two men represent the two most populous ethnic groups in the country, but many Guineans are concluding that regardless, as one trader from Conackry said, "it's Guineans who should take pride in the fact that they've finally ushered in real democracy in their country after over half-a-century”
Guinea has the largest deposits of bauxite in the world but again from the BBC, p"oor management and corruption by the previous two dictatorial regimes of first President Sekou Toure and then Lansana Conte have rendered Guineans among the poorest on the continent and indeed the world."
Bauxite mining and profits in Guinea have not yet positively influenced Guinea citizens
Finally, from a reading of a number of Western observers, Guinea's current interim military leader Gen Sekouba Konate, unlike previous military rulers, has showed willingness to hand over political power to civilians. In fact, Konate, who is quite popular with Guineans has said he would be willing to work under the civilian president as the Defense Minister.
The military under interim leader General Sekouba,has generally acted positively in the recent elections
Perhaps we are seeing one small step in one more country in Africa moving in the right direction. Both candidates had declared that their highest priority was to raise the living standards of the nation's citizens.